10. Giving oral rehydration solution (ORS)
Oral rehydration solution (ORS) is the first step in treating people who are suffering from diarrhoea and dehydration.
- If a patient has no signs of dehydration or signs of mild dehydration (see Action tool Assessment of dehydration), he or she can be treated at home.
For NO signs of dehydration
- Demonstrate how to prepare and give ORS.
- The caregiver should give the amount of ORS indicated in the table below.
|Age||Amount of ORS after each loose stool||ORS packets needed|
|Less than 24 months||50-100 ml (¼ – ½ cup)||1 packet/day|
|2-9 years||100–200 ml (½ – 1 cup)||1 packet/day|
|10 years or more||As much as wanted||1 packet/day|
Where there are SOME signs of dehydration
- Give the recommended amount of ORS (measure against either the patient’s age or weight).
- If the patient passes watery stools or wants more ORS than shown in the table above, give more.
- If the patient does not improve or some of the signs of severe dehydration appear, refer the patient to a health facility (see Action tool Referral to health facilities).
|Age||Less than 4 months||4-11 months||12-23 months||2-4 years||5-14 years||15 years or older|
|Weight||Less than 5 kg||5-7.9 kg||8-10.9 kg||11-15.9 kg||16-22.9 kg||30 kg or more|
|Oral solution in ml||200-400 (1-2 cups)||400-600 (2-3 cups)||600-800 (3-4 cups)||800-1200 (4-6 cups)||1200-2200 (6-11 cups)||
2200-4000 (11-20 cups)
How to give ORS
It is important to teach mothers and caregivers to administer ORS to children correctly, to help the child get better and prevent the epidemic from spreading.
- To a child that is under two years of age, give one teaspoonful every one to two minutes.
- To an older child, give frequent sips from a cup.
- If the child vomits, wait 10 minutes and then offer the solution again, more slowly.
- If diarrhoea continues after the ORS packets are used up, give home remedies until you get more ORS packets.
- Give the child as much clean water as he or she can drink.
- Continue to assess dehydration and refer the child to a clinic if he or she gets worse or does not improve after a few hours.